Preparing Plants For Winter

Nov 1, 2019

In order to thrive in spring, plants have to successfully transition through the long winter months, so prepping many types of plants and gardens ahead of time is a key step. 

On this edition of 'Horticulture Day,' Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens Aaron Steil and ISU Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron join Charity Nebbe to lay out the do's and don'ts of getting ready for winter. 

Steil recommends collecting and storing seeds, such as marigolds and zinnias, to plant in the spring. He also suggests piling up raked leaves to turn into a leaf mold over the course of, roughly, six months. The resulting leaf mold can then be spread as a beneficial mulch over challenging soil, Steil says. 

Jauron and Steil advise against clearing everything out of a garden before winter, and pruning should also be held off until later. 

The experts also answer calls and emails with questions about plants, trees, and lawn care. 


  • Richard Jauron, ISU extension horticulture specialist
  • Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens